The Copper Marionette is a science fiction novella written by Nathan Thornsbury. The book follows two interconnecting stories.
First, there is the almost Utopian future of 2988, where Synthetic Individuals are still fighting for their basic rights as 'people', and S407 (Also known as Saul) is the prototype idea for the first Synthetic Police Officer. Despite constantly being berated and discriminated against by his fleshy coworkers, he still strives to be a real cop, and he starts out his first week on the job by going through an old cold case... Where he seems to find the husk of a Synthetic from the early 2000's, which was almost 200 years before they were created. S407 hooks into the husk and finds a basic AI unit, which he begins to converse with, which was formerly named Thomas. In order to solve the truth to this being, he travels through the AI's earliest memories, trying to fill in the data gaps in order to find the truth.
This leads into the second side of the interconnecting story, the coming of age story of a young boy named Thomas... Who is actually an artificial humanoid. This aspect of the story is told through visual video archives and data logs, telling the story of this boy growing up, falling in love, and learning of his family history.
This story provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Allessandra.
- Adult Fear
- Aerith and Bob: Thomas and Allessandra.
- Bittersweet Ending: Thomas is gone, but Elijah gets to live on with his memories. S407 knows that Thomas will never achieve true justice, but he brings the husk of Thomas to the farm where Allessandra still lives.
- Body Horror
- Character Development
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Thomas for Elijah... But he died saving Elijah.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Easter Egg
- Heroic Sacrifice: Thomas sacrifices himself so that Elijah could actually live his own life.
- Human Resources: Elijah, being used as the mental framework for Thomas's AI.
- Insistent Terminology: They are not called robots or androids, but instead are called 'Synthetics'.
- It Makes Sense in Context
- Love at First Sight: Thomas for Allessandra.
- Meaningful Echo
- Meaningful Name
- Missing Mom: It isn't talked about much, but Mrs. Brown isn't around... We find out why in the end.
- Mood Whiplash
- Mundane Object Amazement
- Mysterious Employer
- Mythology Gag: Ozymandias Corporation... A company that built an empire which changed the world forever, but which caused the downfall of said world, until it was simply a castle upon a kingdom of death and ash.
- Noodle Incident
- Smash to Black
- Soul Jar: Elijah, being used as the mental framework for Thomas's AI.
- Special Person, Normal Name: Thomas.
- Wham Line
- Wham Shot